As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 6 March 2020

UK raptor persecution on the rise


The RSPB's Investigations team has revealed that rates of raptor persecution are showing no signs of slowing down across the UK.

In fact, the organisation revealed this week that 2018 saw a shocking 67 incidents of bird of prey persecution confirmed in England alone – equalling the previous highest in the country, which was noted in 2007.

For the UK as a whole, 2013 and 2007 are the worst years on record, with 128 confirmed raptor persecution incidents each. However, it is important to note this is only the number actually exposed, and has very little bearing on the actual number of birds of prey targeted in the year as detection rates are very low.

For Scotland, at a glance, the signs appear encouraging. However, there is mounting evidence that, rather than decreasing, crimes are simply becoming more covert. Following the enactment of vicarious liability legislation and the increased use of satellite tags to monitor raptors, there has been a reduction in poisoning incidents, presumably because such crimes and their victims were becoming increasingly detectable. Sadly raptor population surveys repeatedly show no evidence of an overall fall in persecution levels in Scotland, or indeed the rest of the UK.

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